The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says the Federal Government spends N60 billion annually on the repair of vandalised pipelines.
Speaking at a town hall meeting on the protection of oil and gas infrastructure in the country in Abuja on Monday, the minister said destruction of oil pipes has socioeconomic and environmental impact.
According to him, oil and gas provided 80 percent of Nigeria’s budgetary revenue as well as 95 percent of foreign exchange earnings, hence the impact of pipeline vandalism on the economy.
“Today’s town hall meeting on protecting oil and gas infrastructure is very important, considering that the destruction of this infrastructure has socioeconomic and environmental implications,” he said.
“With oil providing 80 percent of Nigeria’s budgetary revenues and 95 percent of foreign exchange earnings, one can only imagine the impact of the incessant destruction of oil pipelines on the economy.
“I do not intend to take the wind out of the sail of the experts who will speak on this issue, but with an average of 200,000 barrels per day lost to the wanton damage to pipelines and a huge amount of 60 billion naira yearly to repair and maintain the vandalised points, one can only imagine the impact on the economy.”
Mohammed said between January 2019 and September 2020, 1,161 pipeline points across the country were attacked by vandals.
“Apart from the impact on the nation’s earnings, consider also the environmental problems caused by the incessant vandalism, in terms of freshwater pollution, air pollution, soil pollution, etc., and you will appreciate the enormity of the problem,” he said.
“With far less resources, the administration has recorded more infrastructural development than was achieved in all the 16 years of the previous administration.
“As this government strives to bridge our nation’s infrastructural deficit, we must do everything in our power to stop the wanton destruction of public infrastructure.”